South African Esports host, content creator and self-proclaimed “giant nerd,” Sam “Tech Girl” Wright is a refreshing female voice in what is considered a male-dominated industry. With an active blog and YouTube channel focusing on gaming, technology and geek culture,Tech Girl live streams gameplay weekly to her Facebook and Twitch channels. She has worked as a desk host, interviewer and stage host for a host of titles including CSGO, Overwatch, Dota 2, Dragonball FighterZ and even Splatoon 2. She contributes gaming content to Red Bull Esports and W24 and also hosts a weekly 5fm Gaming show called #GamerGlitch.
When have you been most satisfied your life? Professionally and personally.
I think this year is possibly the most satisfied I’ve been. I turned 32, have savings in the bank and am starting to feel confident in my own skin, which is an asset to my career ─ being in front of a camera. I’m happy with where my work life is and I’m settled at home, which is a nice feeling.
Describe your off-duty style.
My off-duty style is sweat pants and socks. I love baggy sweatpants and have pairs for summer and winter. I live in them when I’m not expecting to see anyone or just need to dash to the shops on a lazy Saturday.
How does fashion influence your career & daily life?
Fashion has a big influence on my career because there is a very specific look and feel that most esports broadcasts want and you need to make sure you dress the part while still being comfortable and confident. My job forced me to learn more about fashion and what worked (and didn’t work) for me ─ both in the way it looks on my body and how I feel in it.
What is the one item of clothing that you can’t live without?
The one item of clothing I can’t live without is a comfy pair of sneakers. They are multi-functional ─ you can dress them up for dinner, wear them to the gym, or travel in them. Sneakers are bae.
Tell us what the highlight of your career is.
The highlight of my career was hosting my first overseas esports event in 2017 at Gamescom in Germany. Lots of people told me it couldn’t be done and a South African would struggle to crack the international scene, so it was a big moment for me.
What, would you say, is the biggest challenge that women face in the tech industry?
I think in the esports and gaming industry, women are always fighting to try to kill the stereotype that they only got the job to fill the “girl quota”. It’s the biggest obstacle and means you have to work twice as hard to prove you belong.
When do you feel most inspired / in love with yourself?
I feel most inspired and in love with myself after the gym actually. I like working out really hard, so I’m always pretty proud of myself when I finish a workout. It reminds me that one of my strengths is that I’m able to find comfort in discomfort (most days). So that’s usually when I’m most happy. It’s likely the endorphins though!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
If you do what others don’t, you’ll achieve what others won’t ─ i.e. you need to work hard and make sacrifices if you want to achieve your goals.
What advice would give to your younger self?
Stop hating yourself so much. You’re not nearly as awful, awkward, odd or unloveable as you think.
What’s next for you?
More games, more fun and hopefully, a holiday soon. I’d love to just spend a few days in the bush, unwinding and unconnected.
How did you celebrate Women’s Day?
I celebrated Women’s Day by planning a trip to Gamescom 2019 and doing prep for some esports work I have coming up. In 1956 women marched in South Africa to fight against us being treated as “less than” and having to carry passes. Those women paved the way for so much in terms of race and gender issues in SA. So I feel like working and building my own path in my industry, to allow other women an easier route should they choose this field, is as good a way as any to celebrate.
Finish the sentence:
I feel my most confident when: I’ve just finished a successful esports broadcast.
I wish I could be more: present. My head is always a million other places.
My superpower is: the ability to always turn my office into complete chaos… every week.
The song that gets me pumped: People by Awolnation
My shopping addiction is: phone covers!